Deputy Speaker Allowed By LHC To Administer The Election For Chief Minister Of Punjab

PML-N and PML-Q appeals were turned down by Lahore High Court and orders were given to complete the preparations for the polling on April 16.

On Wednesday Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Muhammed Ameer Bhatti allowed Sardar Dost Muhammed Mazari Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly to proceed with the election of chief minister Punjab which is scheduled on April 16, despite Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) attempts.

Chief Justice Bhatti also put aside the orders of withdrawing deputy speaker powers as per his 3-page order issued on April 13. The request made by Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) to hold the elections before April 16 was also dismissed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Bhatti.

Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice stated in his order that, according to the Rule 25 of Rules of Procedure were dismissed which is contradictory to the Constitution Article 53(3) as a consequence of which in the absence of Speaker, the Deputy Speaker of the assembly gets the position of Speaker for the assembly session and completely override the powers given in the Rules, is hereby put aside.

He ordered that the Deputy Speaker shall proceed with the assembly election procedure of the Chief Minister on April 16, 2022, as per the fixed date according to the Article 130 sub-Article (3) of the Constitution Rule 20 of Rules of Procedure including all other powers and provisions enabled on its behalf. All the Provincial government personnel and Deputy Speaker are ordered to take the actions fairly, justly, and impartially ensuring Constitutional supremacy in the process.

It is also stated in the order that the respondent counsel which includes Advocate General Punjab (AGP) has shown no reservations during their arguments to hold the election on April 16 in terms of Article 130 sub-Article (3) of the Constitution Rule 20 of Rules of Procedure, therefore there shall not be any obstruction, interference, hindrance in any way with any provincial assembly member who would wish to attend and participate in the assembly session notified as above for casting their votes as per the Supreme Court short order dated April 7, 2022.

The provincial assembly Secretary and all other officials shall provide and exercise all efforts to assist the session in this regard under the legal obligation. The secretary of the Punjab Assembly was also ordered to ensure and complete the Punjab Assembly renovation work one day before the election date so that it must be available on April 16 in a respectable way for the assembly members.

After hearing the details of the arguments the LHC reserved the decision, earlier on April 12, after the PML-Q, PML-N, Punjab Assembly secretariat, and Choudhry Perves Elahi counsels were not able to reach a consensus on the neutrality of a person who will preside the Punjab Assembly session.

PML-Q will be filing an intra court appeal against this order, according to a reliable source.